Monday, October 20, 2014

New Book: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator)

(UK Cover with link)

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator) is released this week in the UK. Not the US. But a small consolation for Gaiman fans is that next week his Hansel and Gretel will be released stateside while it won't be released until December there. But I don't have a US release date for The Sleeper and the Spindle at all yet. There will be one, never fear. But it may be several more months. Bummer. As my dad likes to say, "Life isn't fair." I'll add "especially when it comes to book publishing."

(US Cover with link)

You can find the text of the story in Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales quite easily.

But an edition illustrated by Chris Riddell is a treat. I'll show images to tempt and taunt.

Book description from the publisher:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Softbox: Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White

Softbox: Little Red Riding Hood
An inappropriate software harms your company.

Here's a campaign that offers more than one fairy tale. And it's an unexpected advertiser, too. Didn't imagine software using fairy tales like this, did you? I really like the LRRH figurines. But wow, with that apple in the Snow White ad we could get a whole lot of software jokes courtesy of a certain company, yes?

Campaign info from Ads of the World:

Advertising Agency: Diferi, Brazil
Creative Directors / Art Directors: Fabrício Gallo, Mário Virva
Creative Director: Sandro Porto
Copywriter: Sandro Porto
Illustrator: Studio Nuts
Additional credits: Bianca Bruneto
Published: July 2014

Softbox: Snow White
An inappropriate software harms your company.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fun eBay Finds: Little Red Riding Hood

I don't often share eBay finds here due to their ephemeral nature--and I really don't search very often--but these recent finds wanted to be preserved in my memory banks so I decided to share here. First there was this "Little Red Riding Hood" Lacquer Jewelry Box which I really like. It is handpainted and handcrafted. The artist's name is Krasnov E.

Next up are these adorable Little Red Riding Hood Lego earrings. These were crafted by the seller--to my knowledge there are no Red Riding Hood Lego sets. But that would be really cool and awesome.

Then there's the Vintage French Red Riding Hood Metal Blanc or Silver Plated Serviette Ring. In other words, a napkin ring. I wonder if these were a set of the same design or if different tales appeared in the set.

Finally, there's the European Charms - 'Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf' which are not so uncommon but they aren't usually packaged together like this for purchase.

And a bonus to see, but it has already sold, and not to me. This Little Red Riding Hood Inspired, Tree of Life Pendant Necklace appealed to me because I am a sucker for Tree of Life jewelry.

New Book: How Fairy Tales live happily ever after: (Analyzing) The art of adapting Fairy Tales by Conny Eisfeld

How Fairy Tales live happily ever after: (Analyzing) The art of adapting Fairy Tales by Conny Eisfeld was published this past summer in the US but just hit my radar. I suspect the book is an adaptation or translation of Eisfeld's Master's Thesis, A Literary and Multi-Medial Analysis of Selected Fairy Tales and Adaptations, which is also available for purchase.

Book description:

What happened to the classic fairy tale? Do we still read the 'old and dusty tales' of wonder to our children or would we rather take them to the cinema? The fairy tale boom has reached Hollywood where popular tales are currently transformed into entertainment movies.

Makers of films and TV series have become the storytellers of the digital age - a transition that frequently leads to discussions about how these new forms limit or contribute to the further development and preservation of the traditional fairy tale.

But what exactly is a traditional fairy tale? The book follows the history of the tale, how it has been changing colors and how it has been adapting and surviving for centuries. The main focus lies on the literary and multi-medial analysis of two popular fairy tales: Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, which have not only been adapted to the screen recently but have been repeatedly altered throughout the centuries.

Follow the journey of the fairy tale from its most basic form, i.e. oral storytelling, to a written and illustrated commitment that shaped the general image of fairy tales for forthcoming generations, to its newest form: the visualization through new and digital media.

About the Author

Conny Eisfeld, M.A. was born in 1986 in Rostock, Germany. The author successfully finished her Master of Arts studies at the University of Southern Denmark and Flensburg in 2012. During her studies of Culture, Language and Media she gained thorough insights into the transformation of storytelling and the academic field of the collective memory. Fascinated by the transition of narration, she continued researching its further progression into the domain of new and digital media. The author has been living in the US, Denmark, Great Britain and Malta where she collected original and adapted tales as well as echoes of stories long known and told. Her work experience at various publishing companies combined with a passion for visual arts inspired her to further advance into the field of cross-media storytelling and beyond.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Book: Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis

(Amazon US/UK links)

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis is released this week. And this is a rarer retelling: a science fiction Snow White. I'm always thrilled with science fiction genre retellings of fairy tales. Thanks to Marissa Meyer for helping make them more popular in recent years. And hubby John and I had fun earlier last year with creating our own Science Fiction Fairy Tales from SurLaLune, one even a Snow White. Remember this?

The Stitching Snow (UK Edition) will be released in the UK in November, so not too long of a wait there.

Book description:

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Book: The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition translated by Jack Zipes

(Amazon US/UK Links)

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition translated by Jack Zipes is officially released later this week although it is already shipping from online book retailers. If you love Grimms and aren't very fluent in German, this is a book to get excited about. Even if you are fluent, it's pretty exciting, too.

Over the years, one of the top questions I've received as SurLaLune is: "Where are the dark, gritty fairy tales I hear about?" Well, that's a complicated question, but one interpretation of what they ask is: "Where are those lesser edited Grimms' tales that I've heard about?" For some reason, the entirety of the first Grimms' edition has not been translated into English previously. Zipes, in the Acknowledgements of this new book, says that during the Grimms' bicentennial in 2012 he decided, "if nobody was going to undertake this 'task,' I would do it--and do it out of pleasure and to share the unusual tales the Grimms collected as young men when they had not fully realized what a treasure they had uncovered."* After all, the Grimms had seven editions of their famous collection and there were considerable changes between that first and seventh edition.

That's a boon since, after all, Zipes has also translated one of the most used and most recommended editions of Grimms. For that conversation see my blog post: Library Essentials: Picking a Grimm Translation. Nice to have Zipes' translations of both the earliest and later versions of the tales to compare and consider.

From the book's introduction:

In fact, many of the tales in the first editions are more fabulous and baffling than those refined versions in the final edition, for they retain the pungent and naive flavor of the oral tradition. They are stunning narratives precisely because they are so blunt and unpretentious. Moreover, the Grimms had not yet "vaccinated" or censored them with their sentimental Christianity and puritanical ideology.

And, a bonus for scholars like me and some of you, Zipes also translated some of the Grimms' notes to the tales:

As for the sholarly notes to the tales, I have provided a thorough summary of each note to indicate sources, and I have also translated the variants of the tale that I thought were important. These notes reveal, in my opinion, how knowledgeable and erudite the Grimms were at a very young age.

Finally, this means that the table of contents to the book is different from what we consider the standard contents since the Grimms removed and added tales over subsequent editions. Zipes has included several of those omitted tales in his standard Grimms in the appendices but now they are provided in their original context in their original place. For example, "The Summer and Winter Garden"--no. 68 in the first edition and a Beauty and the Beast tale--was omitted in later editions for being too French. In later editions, KHM 68 (the way Grimms tales are referenced by number, abbreviating the title Kinder- und Hausmärchen with the tale's number in the contents) is "The Thief and His Master."

And in this edition, you get the infamous and disturbing "How Some Children Played at Slaughtering." In later editions, you get KHM 22 as "The Riddle" instead which is much more innocuous as the titles imply.

So, yes, I highly recommend this book for fairy tale fans.

Book description:

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezsö.

From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key," wondrous worlds unfold--heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique--they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes.

A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.

*All my quotations from the book are from the unproofed ARC I received several weeks ago. I waited for the final review copy to arrive but the envelope arrived last week split open along a seam and empty with a nice sticker on the front from USPS telling me that my package "Arrived Without Contents." I'm not sure if and when another will arrive.

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Book: Gretel and the Dark: A Novel by Eliza Granville

(US / UK cover with links)

Gretel and the Dark: A Novel by Eliza Granville is released this week in North America. It was released this past February in the UK, see Gretel and the Dark: UK edition.

It's been a little while since I've seen a Hansel and Gretel and WWII retelling. The two are such a perfect match for each other for obvious reasons. It's a very small but potent subgenre of fairy tale retellings.

Book description Gretel and the Dark: A Novel: US Edition:

A captivating and atmospheric historical novel about a young girl in Nazi Germany, a psychoanalyst in fin-de-siècle Vienna, and the powerful mystery that links them together.

Gretel and the Dark explores good and evil, hope and despair, showing how the primal thrills and horrors of the stories we learn as children can illuminate the darkest moments in history, in two rich, intertwining narratives that come together to form one exhilarating, page-turning read. In 1899 Vienna, celebrated psychoanalyst Josef Breuer is about to encounter his strangest case yet: a mysterious, beautiful woman who claims to have no name, no feelings—to be, in fact, a machine. Intrigued, he tries to fathom the roots of her disturbance.

Years later, in Nazi-controlled Germany, Krysta plays alone while her papa works in the menacingly strange infirmary next door. Young, innocent, and fiercely stubborn, she retreats into a world of fairy tales, unable to see the danger closing in around her. When everything changes and the real world becomes as frightening as any of her stories, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could ever have guessed.

Rich, compelling, and propulsively building to a dizzying final twist, Gretel and the Dark is a testament to the lifesaving power of the imagination and a mesmerizingly original story of redemption.

Book description for Gretel and the Dark: UK edition:

Gretel and the Dark is Eliza Granville's dazzling novel of darkness, evil - and hope.

For fans of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.

Vienna, 1899. Josef Breuer - celebrated psychoanalyst - is about to encounter his strangest case yet. Found by the lunatic asylum, thin, head shaved, she claims to have no name, no feelings - to be, in fact, not even human. Intrigued, Breuer determines to fathom the roots of her disturbance.

Years later, in Germany, we meet Krysta. Krysta's Papa is busy working in the infirmary with the 'animal people', so little Krysta plays alone, lost in the stories of Hansel and Gretel, the Pied Piper, and more. And when everything changes and the real world around her becomes as frightening as any fairy tale, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could have ever guessed . . .

Eliza Granville was born in Worcestershire and now lives in the Welsh Marches. She has had a life-long fascination with the enduring quality of fairytales and their symbolism, and the idea for Gretel and the Dark was sparked when she became interested in the emphasis placed on these stories during the Third Reich.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Symbicort: Three Little Pigs

Symbicort Grandpa from FFAKE Animation on Vimeo.

Saw this this week and had to share, of course. A rather clever use of the fairy tale for an asthma drug. Kudos.

From the Vimeo page:

Director: Mike Smith
Client: AstraZeneca
Product: Symbicort
Agency: JWT NY

The brilliance of using the Wolf and 3 Pigs story for a COPD product can't be understated in this charming throwback to classic fully animated pieces of the 40's and 50's.

Director/Design: Mike Smith
Animation Production: FFAKE
Live Action: Laurence Thrush/Rabbit

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Scrabble: Multiple Tales

Scrabble: Red Riding Hood

This one is fascinating but I have to let the designers fully explain it. So from Ads of the World:

This poster was written to prove the infinite amount of words you can get combining the alphabet letters when playing Scrabble. We took the classic tale Red Riding Hood "Caperucita Roja" and using the exact same letters, from the title and the story, wrote a completely different tale: "Pau el Carrito Caja", Paul the little Boxcar. As an example, if this poster was written in English, a different tale using the same letters of Red Riding Hood could have been "Odd Herd Origin". "Pau el Carrito Caja" tells the story of a little girl that travels with her imagination to different places on Pau, in her car made out of a wooden box.

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Guatemala
Chief Creative Officer: Ramiro Eduardo
Creative Director: Herberth Monterroso
Copywriter: Desire Cojulum
Illustrator: Sua Agape
Art Directors: Fernando Mira, Christina Irving-Bell

Now someone go play this rewriting game with another fairy tale. I call Princess and the Pea!  Nah, I think I will just stick to playing Scrabble instead. Which, ironically enough, has been my computer game of choice for clearing the brain after a long day in 2014.

This poster was written to prove the infinite amount of words you can get combining the alphabet letters when playing Scrabble. We took the classic tale Three Little Pigs "Los Tres Cochinitos" andusing the exact same letters, from the title and the story, wrote a completely different tale: "Tres Chinitos Locos", Three Crazy Little Chinese. As an example, if this poster was written in English, a different tale using the same letters of Three Little Pigs could have been "The Glitter Piles". "Tres Chinitos Locos" tells the story of three wise Chinese friends that get the call from the Emperor to find the cure for mortality. After many attempts the wise Chinese come back with the solution: To avoid mortality live your life fiercely.

This poster was written to prove the infinite amount of words you can get combining the alphabet letters when playing Scrabble. We tok the classic tale The Ugly Duckling "El Patito Feo" and using the exact same letter, from the title and the story, wrote a completely different tale: "Pelotita Ofe", Little Ball Ofe. As an example, if this poster was written in English, a different tale using the same letters of The Ugly Duckling could have been "Cudy The Gull King". "Pelotita Ofe" tells the story of a little ball called Ofe (short name for Ofelia) that opposite to the Ugly Duckling, goes from pretty to ugly after she goes on a diet because she finds out that she is fat.

How fitting that I will be spending the weekend at the Southern Festival of Books!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury is $3.63 in paperbook at Amazon and I wanted to recommend it as a great book that shares Halloween traditions with readers young and old. The folkloric content is of interest to the usual SurLaLune reader which is why I am sharing here. A dear friend loves the book and has written a much better post about the book and how it has become an annual part of her Halloween celebration at this post: The Halloween Tree. I missed recommending it here last year because it was too late when I thought of it. Why torture you with what you couldn't order in time to use for the holiday?

Book description:

Special indeed are holiday stories with the right mix of high spirits and subtle mystery to please both adults and children--Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," for example. Or Ray Bradbury's classic The Halloween Tree. Eight boys set out on a Halloween night and are led into the depths of the past by a tall, mysterious character named Moundshroud. They ride on a black wind to autumn scenes in distant lands and times, where they witness other ways of celebrating this holiday about the dark time of year. Bradbury's lyrical prose whooshes along with the pell-mell rhythms of children running at night, screaming and laughing, and the reader is carried along by its sheer exuberance.

Bradbury's stories about children are always attended by dread--of change, adulthood, death. The Halloween Tree, while sweeter than his adult literature, is also touched at moments by the cold specter of loss--which is only fitting, of course, for a holiday in honor of the waning of the sun.

This is a superb book for adults to read to children, a way to teach them, quite painlessly, about customs and imagery related to Halloween from ancient Egypt, Mediterranean cultures, Celtic Druidism, Mexico, and even a cathedral in Paris. (One caveat, though: Bradbury unfortunately perpetuates a couple of misconceptions about Samhain, or summer's end, the Halloween of ancient Celts and contemporary pagans.) This beautiful reprint edition has the original black-and-white illustrations and a new color painting on the dust jacket. --Fiona Webster